Marshall Islands - Foreign policy



In view of the RMI's dependence on financial aid in various forms from the United States, domestic and foreign policy are hard to separate. Furthermore, many of the conditions affecting RMI-U.S. relations, such as the global and regional political situation, are beyond the control of the RMI or its elected officials. Note, however, has expressed his desire for the continuation of the close relationship between his country and the United States.

The CFA with the United States expired in 2001. Under the CFA, the United States had full authority and responsibility for security and defense of the RMI, and the government of the RMI was obligated to refrain from taking actions that would be incompatible with these security and defense responsibilities. The provisions of the CFA were extended through September 2003 as negotiations took place over its replacement. The CFA was to be replaced with a new arrangement that would guarantee U.S. funding over the next 20 years. In 2023, direct U.S. funding to the RMI is scheduled to cease, and to offset the end of U.S. financial assistance, a general trust fund will be established. While the CFA was being renegotiated, the level of yearly assistance from the U.S. was US $37 million. The basic relationship of free association continues indefinitely.

A major subsidiary agreement of the CFA allowed the United States continued use of the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) missile test range until 2016.

Note has also expressed his intention of continuing the diplomatic ties inaugurated with Taiwan by the previous government in 1998, a relationship that had already resulted in more than US $10 million in aid for the RMI in 1999, plus funds for various infrastructure and construction projects. Note has stated that, though the previous government kept some aspects of the Taiwan-RMI relationship secret, he intends to keep the relationship open and transparent. In 2001, projects for Taiwanese funding of inter-atoll vessels and outer island power plants were underway.

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